Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hillary Spotting (10/9/07)

Hillary Clinton needs to flip a few "red" states in order to capture the presidency (and never let it go). She can't do that without making inroads into the ranks of Christian evangelical (that's no misprint, folks) voters, a potential bloc some forty million strong which went for George W. Bush in 2004 by almost thirty percentage points.

So how is the devil going to pull the Messiah off the cross? By preaching sermons in one church after another. After all, it isn't as though she hasn't been doing that for the past seven years anyway. This time she'd just be preaching (or, really, pitching) TO evangelicals rather than at or about them.

What's that? Isn't that a load of flagrant hypocrisy from the queen of "church-state separation"? Well, given that in Medusa's mind EVERYTHING should be under state control, it may not be as two-faced as you think.

Sure gives a different twist to Matthew 16:18, doesn't it? If only that applied to the GOP as well.

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Remember how President Nixon used to substitute an iron will and like self-discipline for the charm, charisma, and personability he utterly lacked? In what has to be one of the more garish ironies of American political history, Hillary Clinton is, in this instance, trying to follow in Tricky Dick's footsteps. And, it must be admitted, she's done a very good job of it over her time in the Senate.

But a two-year presidential campaign imposes two factors that do not work to her Nib's advantage - greater public scrutiny, and plenty of it. And the cracks in her glacial grin mask are beginning to show already:

"Give me a fair reading as to who I am, not who somebody says I am," Clinton pleaded with a room full of Iowa voters as she wrapped up her remarks at a campaign stop [in New Hampton, Iowa] on Sunday.

But just moments later, in a rare stumble for her highly-choreographed campaign, Clinton demonstrated that people's long-standing impressions of her are right on target.

During the question and answer period, Randall Rolph, a retired Democratic voter from Nashua, Iowa, confronted Clinton on her recent vote in favor of a U.S. Senate resolution calling on the Bush Administration to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. The measure has been greeted with suspicion by war critics who view it as a document that President Bush could use as a pretext to launch an
attack on Iran.

"Why should I support your candidacy if you haven't learned from the past?" Rolph asked, referring to her 2002 vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq.

Clinton first thanked him and then countered that, "the premise of the question is wrong." So far, so good. But after offering a description of what was in the resolution, Clinton smugly and dismissively accused him of having been fed the information, saying "obviously somebody sent [it] to you."

Rolph didn't let it pass. "I take exception, this is my own research..."

"Well, then let me finish telling you..." Clinton screamed.

"Nobody sent that, and I am offended that you would suggest it," Rolph snapped at her.

Realizing she had committed a blunder, she backed off. "Then I apologize," she said. "I apologize, it's just that I've been asked the very same question at three other places."

Later, she patronizingly told him "I respect your research," but instructed him that there were two versions of the bill, and she opposed an earlier draft that had harsher language. "We just have a disagreement," she concluded. "I know what I voted for, and I know what we intended to do with it."

The crowed filled with supporters may have applauded, but Rolph was turned off. He said he came into the event uncommitted, but ruled out voting for Clinton after she insinuated that he was a patsy even though he had spent the morning on government websites looking into the question himself. "It was an insult," he fumed following the event. "It was basically calling me stupid. That I can't think on my own. That I don't have the ability to research or come up with a coherent or concrete thought on my own. How dare she!

"He continued, "She never did answer the question. She just, what I say is, bitch-slapped me."

And this is one of her own. Which is another way of saying that she looks upon her own base with as much barely restrained condescension as she looks upon her enemies with unmitigated hostility and contempt. It's a tempermental tendency that is exacerbated by having a Senate voting record to defend, and given her periodic attempts at triangulation, she's having to defend it from both directions. And we all know from long '90s experience that Hillary doesn't like being questioned about anything, and is actively allergic to accountability. Just imagine what a public relations bunker her White House would be - it'd make Nixon's last year and a half look like a mass frolic through an Alpine meadow.

Of course, you can't convince me that Mr. Rolph won't vote for Senator Upside-Down-Legs next November, and her nomination lead is sufficiently prohibitive that the Clinton Machine won't lose any sleep over his defection. But it is illustrative, and instructive, I think, of the sorts of missteps that we're likely to see next year as the pressure intensifies.

That's why I think we can count on Hillary '08 being the most negative presidential campaign in American history. With so many vulnerabilities to protect, and so little Mr. Bill-like charisma to compensate for them, scorched-earth propaganda will be the only viable offensive weapon in her arsenal.

That, by the way, is another argument for our nominating Fred Thompson. You can just see the good natured, "Well, there you go again" moment warming up - and probably more than one.

~ ~ ~

Speaking of Rodhamite vulnerabilities:
Sandy Berger, who stole highly classified terrorism documents from the National Archives, destroyed them and lied to investigators, is now an adviser to presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Berger, who was fired from John Kerry’s presidential campaign when the scandal broke in 2004, has assumed a similar role in Clinton’s campaign, even though his security clearance has been suspended until September 2008. This is raising eyebrows even among Clinton’s admirers. “It shows poor judgment and a lack of regard for Berger’s serious misdeeds,” said law professor Jonathan Adler of Case Western Reserve University....

Adler told the Examiner that it is “simply incomprehensible to me that a serious contender for the presidency would rely upon him as a key foreign policy advisor.” ...
It's not incomprehensible to me - Berglar is a good Clintonoid soldier who followed orders to do whatever it took to protect Mr. Bill's legacy (from getting any worse) and the Queen of Mean's own ambitions for power, fell on his sword for it, and is now being amply rewarded for his loyalty. I can see him being Mrs. Clinton's Director of National Intelligence, can't you?

Hopefully the GOP nominee will see the same thing, and make it a huge issue in what is still the Democrats' weakest area. Failure to do so would be as politically negligent as the Clintonoids were criminally so in paving the way for 9/11.

Besides, I can hardly wait to see Hillary's reaction.